Harvard University Scientists Explain Why Exercise Extends Life who is already out of childbearing age. As the scientists write in an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this is due to the fact that exercise allows you to divert energy from the pathological processes occurring in the elderly body. The research is summarized in a press release at Phys.org.
It is hypothesized that humans have evolved to remain physically active as they age. Being active slows down the gradual deterioration in health and protects against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. In contrast, lack of physical activity increases the risk of disease and shortens life expectancy.
The researchers note that monkeys, which usually live in the wild for only 35-40 years and rarely go through menopause, are significantly less active than most people. This suggests that in the course of evolution, humans have been selected in favor of longevity and activity. Thus, modern hunter-gatherers, on average, engage in moderate to high-intensity manual labor for about 135 minutes a day and typically live for about seven decades. Fossil evidence shows that high life expectancy was common about 40,000 years ago. This refutes the myth that the life span of ancient humans was short.
Scientists have shown that physical activity not only burns calories, but also causes physiological stress, including damage to the body at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. However, this activates regenerative mechanisms, including the regeneration of cartilaginous tissues, the healing of microcracks, the release of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules. Cell and DNA repair processes reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, depression and, in general, premature death.